"It will eventually get better, not worse," Obama says in Nieuwsuur interview
Former United States President Barack Obama talked to NRC writer Tommy Wieringa for current affairs program Nieuwsuur, to promote the first part of his memoirs A Promised Land which is publishing on Tuesday. While things may look bad right now, Obama believes the future will be brighter, he said, according to NOS.
"By nature I am optimistic. And I have read enough history books to know that history never moves in a straight line. Over the years man has always moved towards less violence and more understanding for each other," the former president said in the program, which will broadcast at 9:30 p.m. on NPO2 tonight.
Obama said that when he speaks to young people for the Obama Foundation, which aims to train the new generation of leaders, he always stresses one thing. "No matter how bad the headlines look, how discouraging the world can be: if you could choose a time to live in, and you didn't know whether you would be a king or a farmer, you would choose this time," he said. "The world has never seen less violence, has never been more tolerant, healthy or educated. Women have never had more opportunities."
There will be more crises, he believes. "And we will suffer them. I worry a lot about climate change because that may be the only thing that will be irreversible if we are not fast enough. But I believe that if we can prevent that, it will get better, not worse."
Obama admitted that he has no evidence for this belief. "It's a leap of faith. I have chosen to believe it, and act as if it is or could be true. I want young people to understand the value of such a leap of faith. The value of believing that you can have an impact, that change is possible."
To promote his memoirs, Obama was interviewed by people from the literary world, including by five in Europe. In the United Kingdom he spoke to historian David Olusoga, in Spain with Isabel Allende.